The Harvard Graduate School of Design (Harvard GSD) is pleased to announce the 2021 cycle of the Wheelwright Prize, an open international competition that awards 100,000 USD to a talented early-career architect to support new forms of architectural research. The 2021 Wheelwright Prize is now accepting applications; the deadline for submissions is Sunday, January 31, 2021. This annual prize is dedicated to fostering expansive, intensive design research that shows potential to make a significant impact on architectural discourse.
The Wheelwright Prize is open to emerging architects practicing anywhere in the world. The primary eligibility requirement is that applicants must have received a degree from a professionally accredited architecture program in the past 15 years. An affiliation to Harvard GSD is not required. Applicants are asked to submit a portfolio and research proposal that includes travel outside the applicant’s home country. In preparing a portfolio, applicants are encouraged to consider the various formats through which architectural research and practice can be expressed, including but not limited to built work, curatorial practice, written output, and other manifestations of research.
The winning architect is expected to dedicate roughly two years of concentrated research related to their proposal, and to present a lecture on their findings at the conclusion of that research. Throughout the research process, Wheelwright Prize jury members and other Harvard GSD faculty are committed to providing regular guidance and peer feedback, in support of the project’s overall growth and development.
In 2013, Harvard GSD recast the Arthur W. Wheelwright Traveling Fellowship—established in 1935 in memory of Wheelwright, Class of 1887—into its current form. Intended to encourage the study of architecture outside the United States at a time when international travel was difficult, the Fellowship was available only to GSD alumni. Past fellows have included Paul Rudolph, Eliot Noyes, William Wurster, Christopher Tunnard, I. M. Pei, Farès el-Dahdah, Adele Santos, and Linda Pollak.
Harvard GSD awarded the 2020 Wheelwright Prize to Daniel Fernández Pascual, whose winning proposal Being Shellfish: The Architecture of Intertidal Cohabitation examines the intertidal zone—coastal territory that is exposed to air at low tide, and covered with seawater at high tide—and its potential to advance architectural knowledge and material futures.
An international jury for the 2021 Wheelwright Prize will be announced in January 2021. Applicants will be judged on the quality of their design work, scholarly accomplishments, originality or persuasiveness of the research proposal, evidence of ability to fulfill the proposed project, and potential for the proposed project to make important and direct contributions to architectural discourse.
Applications are accepted online only, at wheelwrightprize.org; questions may be directed to info @ wheelwrightprize.org